Friday, June 19, 2015

Tate (Big Ball) Mountain - 2015 Ft.

Black Snout Mountain from the Tate (Big Ball) summit
STATE: New Hampshire
TOWN: Melvin Village
DESTINATION: Tate (Big Ball) Mountain
ELEVATION: 2015 Ft.
SUMMIT COORDINATES: N43 43.494, W71 16.205
TRAIL: Tate Mountain Trail, Banana Trail
DISTANCE: 3.7 Miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 1335 Ft.
HIKING TIME: 2 Hr
SEASON: Late Spring
DATE: June 13, 2015
WEATHER: Sunny, Clear, 80 Degrees F

PARKING: From Route 25 turn onto route 109 for 2.25 miles.  Bear left at the Y intersection onto Old Mountain Road, Rt 171 for 3.75 miles. At the Y intersection with Sodom Road stay on 171 (left) and look for a small parking area with room for 5-6 cars on the left.

USGS QUAD: Melvin Village Quadrangle

MAP: Tate Mountain (Big Ball)



DESCRIPTION:

There wasn't a trail kiosk or signs at the trail-head marking the location of the Tate mountain trail.  The class 6 road heads north and crossing several unmarked junctions. I found a few sporadic red/black/red markings that increased in consistency with elevation.  After a few minutes the trail parallels Fields Brook and crosses a grassy X intersection (stay straight). At 0.4 miles and a Y in the trail, the Tate Mountain Trail bears right and begins to gradually increase elevation.  The trail follows moderately open woods with minimal views. A minor moderately steep section lifts you to some open slabs and minor views to the south before reaching the Banana trail junction at 1.2 miles and 45 minutes.  There is a small sign pointing the direction of Rt 171.  A short side trip to the right offers open ledges and excellent panoramic views of Lake Winnepesaukee and the Belknap range. Follow the cairns and blue paint strips on the open granite slabs to the Mt. Tate (Big Ball) summit 0.25 miles and 15 minutes north.  the summit offers great views to Black Snout Mountain, Turtleback Mountain and Bald Knob to the North and North West.  Lake Winnepesaukee and the Belknap range can be seen to the south. There were no signs, benchmark disks or indication of the summit other than a cairn at the highest point.


TRAIL DISTANCES:

HIKING DISTANCES
DESTINATION
DISTANCE TOTAL DIST.
Parking to Y in trail 0.4 mi 0.4 mi
Y in trail to Banana Trail 1.2 mi1.6 mi
Banana Trail to Tate Summit 0.25 mi 1.85 mi
Tate Summit - Parking 1.85 mi 3.7 mi

HIKING TIMES:

HIKING TIMES
DESTINATION
TIME TOTAL TIME
Parking to Y in trail 15 Min 15 min
Y in trail to Banana Trail 45 Min 1 Hr.
Banana Trail to Tate Summit 15 Min1 Hr 15 Min
Tate Summit - Parking 45 Min 2 Hr

NOTES / COMMENTS:

The relatively short 3.7 mile round trip journey with gradual inclines makes this an excellent hike in time and length for kids.  The wooded trail offered excitement with Fields Brook, a variety of birch, maple, oak and beech hardwoods and views to keep the kids attention and motivation.

I was disappointed in the lack of signage at the trail-head as well as the summit however the spectacular views made the trip worth the minimal effort.

Tate Mountain (Big Ball) is the 7th highest of the "Ossipee Ten" list. There are several longer loop options allowing one to continue to Black Snout and Shaw Mountain with higher elevations.

There are a total of five geocaches along the little Ball and Tate Mountain ridge-line.

Lake Winnepesaukee, Belknap and Gunstock Mountains
Fields Brook waterfalls


Panoramic looking South from the ledges


Turtleback and Middle Mountain

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